New York State of Mind Amoeblog #87: July 4th in New York City, Motown Exhibit, Old New York + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2014 11:12am | Post a Comment
Following five consecutive July Fourth holidays with the big NYC fireworks display over the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan, this year's New York City Fourth of July fireworks display is returning to the other, East River, side of Manhattan where three large barges will be docked near the Brooklyn Bridge and scheduled Friday evening/night (approx 9:20pm) to fire off an estimated 40,000 firework shells to celebrate Independence Day - Big Apple style. That may be bad news for folks over in New Jersey and along the West Side of Manhattan who got used to having a great vantage point of the annual fireworks display but good news for those on the East Side including all along the FDR Drive as well as in as well as in parts of Queens and Brooklyn (including Brooklyn Bridge Park) who will have a great view. For those not in NY or unable to attend the entire event - officially known as the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular - can be watched nationally on NBC-TV as a live two-hour 8pm-10pm special that will feature performances by Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, and Lionel Richieand hosted by Nick Cannon.

Another July 4th New York City tradition is Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest in Coney Island Brooklyn where, for a $20,000 cash prize, food eating contestants battle it out in the event at Nathan’s Famous Flagship Restaurant in Coney Island. While weird to many (myself included) that, in this age when so many in the world are starving, food over-eating is considered a sport, Nathan's annual event has gotten the official stamp of approval as a sport by being televised live on ESPN3 and on tape delay on ESPN. Typically 40,000 attend the free event. More info here.

Another great way to celebrate American Independence Day is to take advantage of a rare opportunity to view firsthand The New York Public Library's original copy of the Declaration of Independence, handwritten by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson in 1776 which is on display for one week only at the midtown main branch of the NYPL. The limited run, six day exhibit, which opened last Friday is on view for just two more days: today July 2 from  2pm until 10 pm, and tomorrow (Thursday July 3rd) from 10 am until 5:45 pm. Free (donations accepted) and wheelchair accessible the exhibit is in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum of the NYPL at 42nd and Fifth Avenue. More info.


Presented by the New York City Public Library through the end of July is the mixed media exhibit The Truth Is A Hit which is presented in conjunction with a few different entities including Motown the Musical and the Motown Museum in Detroit. A free event at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Exhibition Hall which is up in Harlem on Lenox near 135th Street. The exhibit's title, as relayed in the promo video above, is taken from Motown founder Berry Gordy drawing parallels with Motown's (Detroit the Motor City's) approach to making cars. The stated goal of The Truth Is a Hit is to "explore Gordy’s notion of the truth by tracing black music from its African roots through slavery, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, urban America, the Civil Rights and anti-war movements, up to the present day." Open 10am to 6pm everyday except Sunday through July 26th. More info here.

The SPIX "THC (The Hipsters Came)" (2014)

Above is the brand new track/video from Brooklyn born/bred duo of Puerto Rican descent with the self-effacing humored name The SPIX who weigh in on the gentrification effect on their BK hood in "THC (The Hipsters Came)" with lyrics like "the game hasn't been the same since the hipsters came." Comprised of talented emcees ZEPS and Eturnal Suarez what I find refreshing about this duo is how they so effortlessly recapture that begone Golden Era New York hip-hop vibe and flavor (thanks in part to production by Joker and dArt vidR)

And finally I leave you with some classic (70's decade) photos of New York City - above and below - including "Subway Embrace" by Clyde Keller taken in 1976 and the other, taken by Leland Bobbe, was also shot on the NYC subway in that same year of 1976.

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